As 2019 draws to a close, we wanted to look back on the year and share our most popular posts. All of us at FormFactor would like to thank our customers and partners for a great year. As we head into the holidays and the New Year be sure to be thankful for all you have and give to others where and when you can. Be safe wherever your travels may take you and get ready for an even better 2020!

Here are our top 5 blogs from 2019:

1. Meeting the Challenges of 5G Production Test

With the significant increase in test content 5G brings, we are developing ways to provide fast, accurate measurements on 5G devices and accelerate time to market. The challenge of testing 5G devices is how to test a broad spectrum including higher frequencies while maintaining high throughput.

Like all technology advancements, bringing 5G to market requires an array of supporting tools to ensure the end products meet expectations. It will require significant performance advances in chip technology and manufacturing processes—all the while keeping price/performance at an economically viable level.

2. 4 Challenges When Testing Si and Advanced GaN / SiC Devices On-Wafer

The demand for high-power devices (built on Si, GaN and SiC substrates) has been primarily driven by automotive and industrial segments such as hybrid and electric vehicles, solar, transportation, data center power supplies, and other industrial segments. While on-wafer testing methodologies for GaN and SiC power semiconductors (lateral and vertical structures) are similar for Si devices, expanded test capabilities are needed for these newer wide band gap devices.

When testing Si and advanced GaN/ SiC devices on-wafer instead of in-package, R&D engineers and test operators are faced with some major challenges to collect high accuracy data.

3. Delivering Zero-Defect IC Wafer Test for Today’s Automotive Market Needs

The automotive semiconductor market is growing quickly, with predictions between 3 and 14% CAGR between 2016 and 2021, reaching $43 billion by 2021. The number of semiconductors in automobiles increases in today’s more modern vehicles thanks in part to critical safety systems, greater fuel efficiency technologies, navigation and communications enhancements, comfort and entertainment features, and autonomous and assisted driving advancements. As a result, we’re seeing the soaring proliferation of radar, LiDAR, and image sensors, RF/mmWave chips, and microcontrollers to help support these new vehicle developments.

The challenge is that IC manufacturers need to adopt a zero-defect requirement protocol in an environment that is naturally challenging. Afterall, vehicles are designed to last 10 years or more (compared to your cell phone as example) and face harsh environmental requirements that an automobile introduces. In addition, wafer test suppliers need to ramp up test coverage without driving up the cost of test.

4. Pyramid Probe Cards – 3 Common Questions and Answers

Pyramid Probe® cards are rugged, robust, and well suited for the rigors of high-performance production wafer sort. Its industry-leading signal integrity and mechanical alignment capabilities make these probe cards the perfect fit for multi-die testing for RF wireless, high-speed digital in SiPs, SoCs, and leading- edge DC parametric testing.

We often get asked questions about our Pyramid Probe Cards that cover cores, boards, wafers, operations and VNA calibrations. This post covers three common questions and answers.

5. Breaking the Myth of Wafer Probing on Cu for FOWLP

Samsung and FormFactor have collaborated in developing a new vertical MEMS technology to break the myth of “probing on Cu”. We have evaluated a new type of MEMS probe tip material that’s optimized for Cu probing. Earlier this year, we presented our evaluation process and the promising results from the Cu probing process for FOWLP, as well as capabilities to support known-good-die testing and pitch reduction to sub-40um. You can download this presentation and see the results, which are very promising.

Thanks for a great year! Here’s to a great 2020 ahead!